Fallin designated Pilot Club State Governor-Elect

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

Fresh off one of the club’s major fundraisers, San Jacinto Pilot Club member and public relations chairman Julie Fallin has been announced as the state governor-elect for the organization.

Fallin was invited to attend the installation banquet in College Station with her family.

“I am so proud to be part of this organization, whose primary focuses are on mentoring our youth in service and leadership through our Anchor Clubs, promoting brain safety and fitness, and caring for families in times of need,” she said.

There are 30 Pilot Clubs in Texas with membership numbering over 700, but their reach is considerably higher with Anchor Clubs in area high schools.

“We sponsor the club at North Shore Senior High School, and they have more than 100 in their club alone,” she said.

The high school club has won international club honors in the past. Fallin said they assist them with their fundraisers like heart-shaped pillows for children at Texas Children’s Hospital and work at Camp Pump It Up.

They also assisted at one of the club’s major fundraisers last weekend, the Second Annual Puzzle Competition.

“Anyone can participate, and we had 20 teams this year,” she said.

Each team receives a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, and each team can have up to four. The timer is set for two hours.

“The first team to put it together wins first place, and then we have second and third place prizes as well,” she said.

The teams don’t stop until the two-hour timer is done so that everyone earns the opportunity to finish their puzzle. The winning team this year completed the puzzle in 25 minutes.

Teams can have members of any age. This year, one of the teams included an eight-yearold.

“At the end of the event, you get to take your puzzle home with you,” she explained.

April is Autism Awareness month, so they time this fundraiser in conjunction with the brain issue.

“The symbol for autism awareness is a puzzle piece so this all fits nicely together,” Fallin said.

Since the event drew so many, the space was at capacity so they may be looking for a different place to host the competition next year.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to an autism group organization. They also raise money for scholarships for qualifying high school graduates.

The club does two major fundraisers each year including the puzzle competition and a huge Bunco party in the fall.

They used to do a spaghetti fundraiser, but when Covid hit, the club also took a hit in attendance with membership. That forced them to look for a fundraiser that didn’t require so many personnel.

Fallin joined the San Jacinto Pilot Club at the invitation and sponsorship of Betty Street, founder of Betty’s Haven, a women’s shelter in North Channel.

“My grandmother had dementia at the time (a brain condition) and I thought that was right up my alley,” she said.

The Pilot Club International was founded in Macon, Georgia in 1921.

“We now have clubs in the United States, Japan, the Bahamas, and South Africa.”

Fallin explained the primary focuses of Pilot.

“We mentor our youth in leadership and service through our Anchor clubs, brain safety and fitness, and caring for families in times of need,” she explained. “We call it the ABCs of Pilot—anchor, brain, and caring.”

Fallin will take office on July 1, 2024, and the following year, she will take office as governor of the organization for the state of Texas.

“If you feel moved to help serve your community, reach out, and I’ll help you find a club. We have clubs all over the United States,” she said.

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